There’s Nothing Concrete About State Palliative Plan, We Don’t Trust The Process — TUC

Trade Union Congress

The Trade Union Congress has described the Federal Government’s directive to State Governors to draw plans on the palliatives to cushion the impact of petrol subsidy removal as “empty policy laced with lies.”

Festus Osifo, President of the Union, at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, said the congress does not trust the process.

He also urged the government not to worsen the citizens’ suffering with the proposed increases in electricity tariff and tuition fees of unity schools and tertiary institutions.

“If you listen to the Nigerians Governors Forum, they invited us for meetings and we made our case known to them. There’s nothing specific about the palliative. They said each state should go back and look at what they can do, that’s not how to lead. There’s nothing concrete, there’s nothing we can hold them accountable for.

“If you’re coming out to say each state should pay a certain amount of money as wage award or each state should give some categories of workers tax relief, we can hold you accountable on that and not saying each state should go and do according to their purse.

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“What they must bring to the table must be specific and measurable and must be done transparently. For us, anything called palliative must be things we can verify and not something that you will promise us and at the end of the day you will not implement.

“We all remember during COVID-19 when palliatives were in warehouses and people were dying on the streets. We do not trust the process. The governors’ forum should do better. They’re talking about mass transits, how many are they bringing up? Let them tell us and we’ll empower our state councils to follow up,” Osifo said.

He also restated the congress’ opposition to the proposed 7.5 percent VAT on diesel as well as privatization of medical centres and teaching hospitals.

Osifo however commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu “on the suspension of the excise duty on telecom. This suspension is for six months. We think it should be scrapped completely. Nigerians will bear the brunt if introduced. It must be scrapped. It’s of no essence.”

He further urged the President to address the insecurity in Plateau State and other parts of the country.